Octatrack Experiments #02 A: Granular processing

I’ve been busy doing a great Acoustic Noise workshop this week so haven’t had the time to work on this as much as I’d like. Results have been a bit hit and miss but I’m getting some interesting results.


Flex machine set to infinity retrig and ~1.5 RTRIG time. It’s only triggered once and I play around with the start and rate. Time stretch is set to off, which let’s the sample advance quite nicely but doesn’t quite work without infinite retrigs. Rate is being lightly modulated with a slow trig LFO to get an occasional reverse. One very slow LFO is modulating start with depth at around 10 and a random LFO is modulating this depth. The downside to this approach is that it uses up 2 LFOs to get the effect.

Another way to do this is with time stretch enabled, infinite retriggers but modulating retrigs with a slow LFO. You are then free to modular rate and retrig time.

Both result in similar but not quite identical results. I’ll need to keep exploring the differences and see if I can pinpoint exactly what’s different and what advantages are there for each method, if there are actually any.


Repeating again the flex tape machine setup on T1, feeding it some drones from the ms20. This uses two different instances of light distortion, sample rate reduction, bit rate reduction and amplitude modulation.

One Flex machine with the first setup described above which then goes through a low pass filter, Q set to noon, and into a spring reverb set at 100% wet. Some of it is being fed back to track 1.

Another flex machine with the second setup goes through a 2 band EQ and a plate reverb. I play around with it a bit and mute it at times.

A static machine is playing some heavily processed sample which produce the occasional glitches and some weirder textures.

I’m reminded of long late train rides back home years ago, with distant conversations and occasional disruptions against the steady sound of the train going forward.

Going forward

I’m working on a granular delay of sorts which I haven’t quite gotten right yet. The idea being that I could trigger one flex machine looking at a recorder X steps after the sound source and have that do the processing. That means fixed delay time, or at least discreet and hand configures but that’s fine to start with I think, once that’s done I can try to find ways to mess with it using different triggers.

One thing that’s very clear to me is that everything is interacting with everything else, so when I find a sweet spot I’ll have to make note of the whole patch. This also means that going light on modulations will probably yield the most consistent results.

I might take a detour after this to explore some of the things we’ve been working on in the workshop and there’s still the idea of looping machines feeding into each other that I’d like to explore too.


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